William Alwyn (William Alwyn Smith)
BiographyNorthampton, Northamptonshire, England, UK
Virtuoso flautist and composer who taught at London's Royal Academy of Music as a professor from 1926 to 1955. During the war years, he was employed by the Ministry of Information, where he came to the fore as a composer of scores for documentary films which were used for morale building, the instruction of troops and for propaganda. One of these films, a newsreel reportage entitled The True Glory (1945), won an Academy Award. Read more... <(often regarded as his best film composition), The Fallen Idol (1948) and The Running Man (1963). He also wrote the stirring theme for the Hollywood swashbuckler The Crimson Pirate (1952), starring Burt Lancaster. In addition to his film work, Alwyn also composed two operas, five symphonies, as well as chamber music and concertos for piano, violin, viola and harp. He conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra in several recordings of his compositions. William Alwyn became a fellow of the British Film Academy in 1958 for his contribution to the development of British cinema.